Tomer Devorah (Rav Moshe Cordovero) Ch. 3
1א
תומר דבורה – פרק ג
2ב
. . . שכמו שהחכמה העליונה אינה מבזה שום נמצא והכל נעשה משם, דכתיב (תהילים ק"ד, כ"ד) "כלם בחכמה עשית", כן יהיה רחמי האדם על כל מעשיו יתברך. . . ועל דרך זה לא יבזה שום נמצה מן הנמצאים, שכולם בחכמה, ולא יעקור הצומי אלא לצורך, ולא ימית הבעל חי אלא לצורך . . .
Just as the Higher Wisdom does not disdain any creature, and causes everything, as it is written in Tehillim, “You made them all with wisdom” (Psalms 104:24), so should people’s mercy be upon all God’s works… Along these lines, a person should not treat anything disrespectfully, for all were made with wisdom. He should not uproot a plant except where necessary, and he should not cause the death of a living creature except where necessary. [Translated by Harold Fisch]
3ג

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. What does it mean to treat everything with respect?

2. How should I treat an annoying fly buzzing around my head? Why?

3. What does this source teach us about how we could relate to other plants, trees, and animals today?

4ד
Time Period: Medieval (Geonim through the 16th Century)